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NFL Draft loaded with talent at cornerback

| Saturday, May 3, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Notre Dame's TJ Jones catches a touchdown pass in front of Pitt's K'Waun Williams during the third quarter Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at Heinz Field.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Notre Dame's TJ Jones catches a touchdown pass in front of Pitt's K'Waun Williams during the third quarter Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at Heinz Field.

No position in the 2014 NFL Draft is more important to the Steelers than cornerback.

Ike Taylor is returning at age 34 for much less money. William Gay had to start ahead of Cortez Allen in 2013.

And as NFL offensive coordinators and QBs up the ante in the passing game each season, an opponent without two competent corners doesn't stand a chance.

This cornerbacks group is considered to be deep and talented but with no consensus No. 1. Darqueze Dennard is this guy's No. 1, Justin Gilbert is that guy's and the fast-rising Bradley Roby and Kyle Fuller might end up going ahead of Dennard or Gilbert.

If the Steelers go for a cornerback with the No. 15 pick — and that seems probable — they likely will get a good player. But picking the right player out of this crowded-at-the-top group could be as important to a defense as choosing the right quarterback out of the Johnny Manziel-Blake Bortles-Teddy Bridgewater mix is to an offense.

The Steelers, after all, once took future Hall of Fame cornerback Rod Woodson in the first round, but another time, they took the highly disappointing Deon Figures.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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